->''The pinnacle of alien evolution, Maw is a cowardly fat blob concerned mostly with snacking and lounging. He can, however, absorb the traits of anything he eats, is virtually indestructible, and can grow to unlimited size. If he wasn't a danger to all life in the universe, he'd make the perfect pet.''

''The Maw'' is an UsefulNotes/XboxLiveArcade (and later Steam-released) platformer by Creator/TwistedPixel, later creators of ''VideoGame/SplosionMan''. It involves an alien boy, Frank, who gets kidnapped by Galactic Bounty Hunters and then befriends an amorphous blob known only as The Maw. After the ship crashes, he teams up with The Maw to find their way off the planet. By helping Maw eat... and eat... and eat...

The duo must work their way through a variety of levels taking advantage of The Maw's ability to grow in size with every meal and take on the unique attributes of some of the creatures he devours. Your typical everyday tale of a boy and his loving pet. If that boy was an alien and his pet an [[BigEater unstoppable eating machine]].

!!''The Maw'' provides examples of the following tropes:

%%* [[ABoyAndHisX A Boy and His Maw]]
* AllThereInTheManual: Frank's race, the Teltarians, can [[EmotionControl cause emotional disturbances in different life forms with the stones on their head]]. This is why the Galactic Bounty Hunters captured him at the beginning of the game, as well as why the Maw doesn't eat him.
* BadassAdorable: Frank & The Maw.
* BigEater: Maw
* CosmicHorrorStory: Rare example of a C.H.S. that exists mainly in the subtext. The main reason why this game isn't absolutely terrifying is because the visuals are so cute.
* DownloadableContent: Aside from the game itself being DLC, three extra levels were made available for the game labelled "Deleted Scenes". However despite the name they are not infact removed or unfinished levels but original content specifically made for download. They are just labeled as such because the way the game ended made having the DLC take place between ceratin levels the only option.
* EldritchAbomination: Perhaps the most lovable one next to Kirby.
* EmotionControl: Frank. See AllThereInTheManual for more information.
* ExtremeOmnivore: The Maw. There's only a few things he won't eat.
* FacelessGoons: The Galactic Bounty Hunters.
* HeavyVoice: Maw's voice deepens when becoming larger.
* {{Hellish Pupil|s}}: When Maw is angry or especially hungry, his pupil turns into a vertical slit.
* HundredPercentCompletion: Eating all Yums (and related critters) on a level has Maw react to being awarded with eating all enemies in the level, as if receiving a badge or star.
* HollerButton: Press X to "Mawwww!"
* KillerRabbit: The Maw is this, initially. Once it grows to the size of a house, though...
* MoreTeethThanTheOsmondFamily: Maw has a gaping mouth full of pointy fangs.
* OddFriendship: Between an alien {{Emotion Control}}ler and his pet EldritchAbomination.
* PlanetEater: [[spoiler:The Maw eventually becomes a hungry planet-sized creature, one that's still growing.]]
* PowerCopying: The Maw absorbs powers each level, only to [[BagOfSpilling lose it the next]].
* SugarApocalypse: The cutesy setting just makes it all the more jarring when you go around eating every living thing on it.
* SugarBowl: The planet that the game takes place on is a brightly-colored place, filled with a variety of cutesy or silly creatures...
* TechnicalPacifist: Frank is apparently a pacifist and technically he doesn't take anyone's life during the game (at least not ''directly''). But considering how many creatures Maw eats and how Frank uses that to his advantage, this may be more of an InformedAbility. In the final level, [[spoiler:Frank is capable of single-handedly hijacking an aircraft, kicking the Bounty Hunters out the ship]].
* TrailersAlwaysSpoil: The trailer for the game ends with [[spoiler:Maw eating a planet]].
* UnexpectedSHMUPLevel: Both the third DLC level and the final level are top-down shoot-em-ups.
* TheUnintelligible: Everyone besides the main character, who only says "Maw!"
* UniqueEnemy: The Loofer in Level 5. Eating it enables you to BeamSpam your way through everything else in that level.
* VariableMix: The music shifts depending on the situation, but it's most notable when using the loofer's power to shoot lasers, where a somewhat calm music shifts to combat theme from one shot before returning to calm after inactivity.
* VillainForgotToLevelGrind: On numerous occasions throughout the game, Frank and Maw will run into enemies that were a serious obstacle before, when The Maw was much smaller. In these latter levels, these enemies won't be any better armed than they were before (though there might be more of them), and the Maw will eat them like candy.